Observations on Haye vs. Ruiz bout
By Scott Gilfoid: First of all, I think WBA heavyweight champion David Haye (24-1, 22 KO’s) should have been disqualified for the many rabbit punches he threw in the fight. I’m frankly shocked at how poorly the referee enforced the rules against throwing rabbit punches to the back of the head. Haye knocked John Ruiz down four times in the fight, but I saw three of them occurring from rabbit punches. And incredibly, the referee counted the 2nd knockdown against Ruiz as an actual knockdown, even though the referee took a point away from Haye for throwing a rabbit punch. What is that? What was the referee thinking?
If a fighter has a point taken away from him for throwing an illegal punch, you don’t count the effects of that punch, do you? When I saw that, I knew Ruiz was going to be in trouble. The rabbit punches were hard for Ruiz to deal with. I don’t know why Haye decided to throw these kinds of punches, but it certainly worked for him because he was able to clearly drop Ruiz with them a number of times.
I heard people say that Ruiz was turning his head away from Haye, and thus it was fair game that Haye was hitting him on the back of the head. That’s not what I saw. What I saw was Haye moving quickly around the slow-footed Ruiz, and the belting him with a shot in the back of the head. This is what I saw during the last knockdown in the 6th. Haye was in close, hit Ruiz with a right hand, and then moved around him as he was falling forward towards the ropes and tagged him with a right hand to the back of the head that sent Ruiz down. I saw it over and over again in replays, and sure enough, Haye clubbed him in the back of the head after maneuvering around him.
Like I said, I personally thought only one of the four knockdowns were legitimate. That’s not to say that I think Ruiz would have won the fight. He didn’t have a chance. Ruiz looked too slow and feeble to really give it a good go, but he clearly was able to have his moments. Ruiz landed some good shots and had Haye’s right eye looking puffy at the end of the fight. I was surprised at how winded Haye looked in rounds two, three and four.
Haye looked really tired from the brief expenditure of energy in the 1st round. Haye shot all his fireworks early after knocking Ruiz down with a right hand in the first 25 seconds of the 1st round. Haye then bum rushed Ruiz, and missed a god awful amount of punches as he hurriedly tried to knock Ruiz out. It wasn’t happening, though. Haye then took advantage of a situation where Ruiz got bend way over the ropes with his back facing Haye.
Instead of letting Ruiz get back in fighting position, Haye clubbed him twice in the back of the head, causing Ruiz to fall down on the canvas, holding his head. The referee totally blew it at that point and counted it as a knockdown while at the same time taking a point away from Haye for his illegal rabbit punches.
I thought Haye looked horrible in rounds two through four. He just looked tired, running around a lot, throwing mostly pot shots, holding his left hand down by his waist and not mixing it up enough. In the 5th, Haye dropped Ruiz with another punch that appeared to be another of the rabbit variety. I don’t know how the referee counted that as a knockdown, because I clearly saw the punch land to the back of Ruiz’s head.
But whatever the case, Ruiz was looking old, tired and not really competitive. He was going to lose anyway. After Haye knocked Ruiz down with another rabbit punch in the 6th, the fight slowed down in the 7th, as Haye began to look tired again from his brief expenditure of energy in the previous round. In the 8th, Haye moved around the ring, left hand hanging uselessly by his waist, throwing pot shots, looking tired and not throwing a lot of punches. Haye was there for the taking, but Ruiz was just too old, slow and weak to do anything about it.
In the 9th, Haye moved around from side to side, flicking a slow jab, and not looking impressive. Finally, Haye threw a series of combinations that backed Ruiz up and opened up a cut under Ruiz’s left eye. Haye then landed one more amateurish looking right hand in which he leaped as he threw it. Following this, the Ruiz’s corner threw in the towel and the fight was stopped by referee Guillermo Perez Pineda at 2:01 of the 9th round.
All in all, I thought it was a sloppy, foul plagued performance from Haye. I think he should, at the very least, have had two more points taken away from him for throwing rabbit punches. I would have disqualified him if I was the referee. And as I already said, I only saw one knockdown – the first one – that I felt was legitimate. The other three were from punches that landed to the back of Ruiz’s head, and therefore I couldn’t count those as knockdowns. I do think Ruiz would have lost the fight anyway, and I question his rankings. He probably shouldn’t have been ranked any closer than number #8 by the WBA instead of number #1.